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Comparison of fuzzy c-means classification, linear mixture modelling and MLC probabilities as tools for unmixing coarse pixels

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Abstract. Three different 'soft' classifiers (fuzzy c-means classifier, linear mixture model, and probability values from a maximum likelihood classification) were used for unmixing of coarse pixel signatures to identify four land cover classes (i.e., supervised classifications). The coarse images were generated from a 30m Thematic Mapper (TM) image; one set by mean filtering, and another using an asymmetric filter kernel to simulate Multi-Spectral Scanner (MSS) sensor sampling. These filters collapsed together windows of up to 11 11 pixels. The fractional maps generated by the three classifiers were compared to truth maps at the corresponding scales, and to the results of a hard maximum likelihood classification. Overall, the fuzzy c-means classifier gave the best predictions of sub-pixel landcover areas, followed by the linear mixture model. The probabilities differed little from the hard classification, suggesting that the clusters should be modelled more loosely. This paper demonstrates successful methods for use and comparison of the classifiers that should ideally be extended to a real dataset.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 20, 1997

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